Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
The Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering Herefordshire and Worcestershire in the West Midlands region of England. The two counties consist of around 1,500 square miles, a population of over 750,000 people; the service was created in 1974 when The County Of Hereford Fire Brigade and The Worcester City & County Fire Brigade were merged to create The County Of Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade. The two counties were split up again in 1998 but the fire service remained, is now run by a joint fire authority; the service has 332 wholetime operational staff, 369 retained staff, 21 Fire Control staff, as well as about 98 non-uniformed support staff. The busiest areas of Hereford and Worcester fire & rescue is Worcester and Redditch both averaging 1,500 call outs a year, the least busiest areas being Peterchurch and Fownhope averaging between 10-20 callouts a year. Evesham & Peterchurch stations are home to the fire services realistic training facilities.
The main training centre is at Droitwich fire station, more complex training is undertaken at the Fire Service College in Moreton In Marsh. The smallest station in the area is Broadway, a small garage situated off a narrow lane & the largest station is the Wyre Forest Hub with 4 pumps & 6 more vehicles Neighbouring fire services include: Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and West Wales, South Wales and the West Midlands; the 4 Wholetime Fire Stations within Herefordshire & Worcestershire have 1 appliance crewed 24/7 by 4 watches of. The 3 Day Crewed Stations within Worcestershire have 1 appliance crewed for 12 hours a day by 2 watches working on a shift pattern of four 12 hour shifts four days off; the appliance is manned by the retained crews at night The one Day Crew Plus Station have the 1 appliance crewed 24/7 by 4 watches of Blue, Green & White, Working on a shift pattern on a self rostering system consisting of two consecutive 24 hour shifts followed by 4 days off. They work within the station for 12 hours and spend the night at an accommodation site within the station boundary.
All stations in Herefordshire & Worcester have Retained crews in which 19 are retained. Retained firefighters are part-time and have to live or work within 5 minutes of the station and be available for up to 50 hours a week. Pump, Standard firefighting appliance based on either.
Witley Court, Great Witley, England is a ruined Italianate mansion. Built for the Foleys in the seventeenth century on the site of a former manor house, it was enormously expanded in the early nineteenth century by the architect John Nash for Thomas Foley, 3rd Baron Foley; the estate was sold to the Earls of Dudley, who undertook a second massive reconstruction in the mid-19th century, employing the architect Samuel Daukes to create one of the great palaces of Victorian and Edwardian England. The declining fortune of the Dudleys saw the sale of the court after the First World War to a Kidderminster carpet manufacturer. In 1937 a major fire caused great damage to the court, the estate was broken up and sold and the house was subsequently stripped of its fittings and furnishings. Forty years of decay followed before the house and grounds were taken into the care of The Department of the Environment in 1972. Since that point, significant restoration and stabilisation have secured the house as a spectacular ruin.
Witley Court, the attached Church of St Michael and All Angels are both Grade I listed buildings The earliest building on the site was a Jacobean brick house constructed by the Russell family. After the Civil War the house was sold to an ironmaster, he erected two towers on the north side of the house and his grandson Thomas Foley, 1st Baron Foley added the wings which enclose the entrance courtyard. In 1735 the Thomas Foley, 2nd Baron Foley constructed a new private chapel to the west of this courtyard, an undertaking begun by his father; the chapel was given a baroque interior in 1747, when he commissioned James Gibbs to incorporate paintings and furnishings acquired at the auction of the contents of Cannons House. Once reconstructed, the Chapel interior included painted panels by Antonio Bellucci, ten hand painted windows by Joshua Price of London, based on the designs of Francesco Slater. In the second half of the 18th century the park was landscaped; this included the relocation of the village of Great Witley, which came too close to the south front of the house.
In about 1805 Thomas Foley, 3rd Baron Foley employed John Nash to carry out a major reconstruction of the house, including the addition of huge ionic porticoes to the north and south fronts. In 1837 serious debt forced Thomas Foley, 4th Baron Foley to sell the estate to the trustees of William Ward, 11th Baron Ward, who had inherited a great fortune from the coal and iron industries in the Black Country. From 1843 to 1846 Witley Court was loaned to Queen Adelaide, the widow of King William IV. Whilst at Witley Court she had two chaplains – Rev. John Ryle Wood, Canon of Worcester and Rev. Thomas Pearson, Rector of Great Witley. In the 1850s, William Ward, 11th Baron Ward engaged the architect Samuel Daukes, who had altered his London house, Dudley House on Park Lane and the church at Great Witley, to remodel the house in Italianate style using ashlar stone cladding over the existing red brickwork, he commissioned the garden designer William Andrews Nesfield to transform the gardens. In 1885 the 1st Earl of Dudley died and his son William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley inherited the property.
His wife was Rachel Countess of Dudley. In 1920 Witley Court was sold by the 2nd Earl to Sir Herbert Smith, a Kidderminster carpet manufacturer. Sir Herbert maintained only a skeleton staff to manage the house whilst he and his family were away, many areas were left unused. A major accidental fire broke out in September 1937, whilst Sir Herbert was at another of his houses, it started in the bakery situated in the basement room of the now least preserved tower. The staff tried to put the fire out with the ancient fire pump, connected to the fountain, but it failed to work as it had not been maintained for many years. Although only one wing of the house was gutted by the fire and the rest of it was intact, the insurance company declined to cover the major damage, so Sir Herbert resolved to sell the property; the estate was sold in lots. The house was bought by scrap dealers who stripped what they could from the house, leaving it an empty shell. In 1972 the remnants of the house and garden were taken into care by the government, via a compulsory guardianship order.
The ruins today are still spectacular, the property is in the care of English Heritage. Saint Michael and All Angels Church Church, attached to the ruins, survived the fire. In 2003 Witley Court's owners, the Wigington family of Stratford-upon-Avon, who had acquired it in 1953 for £20,000, placed the freehold for sale on eBay for £975,000; the management arrangement with English Heritage was to remain unchanged. The sale was re-launched 2008 and Witley was sold for less than £900,000. A video made in 1967 by the band Procol Harum for their song "A Whiter Shade of Pale", used Witley Court as the location. At this time the site was derelict; the video link is given below under "External Links". The ruins were featured prominently in the 2016 British TV miniseries Close to the Enemy; the original manor of the Russell's was a medieval house. This was replaced by a brick mansion to an H-plan in the mid-seventeenth century; the Foleys, who bought the estate in 1655 massively expanded the house over the next 150 years.
Thomas Foley may have used Henry Flitcroft to add Palladian service wings in the mid-eighteenth century. In the early nineteenth century, Thomas Foley used John Nash to design the enormous North and South porticos; the final transformation of the mansion was undertaken by Samuel Daukes for the Wards in the mid-nineteenth century. This saw the en
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
The Severn Valley is a rural area of mid-western England, through which the River Severn runs and the Severn Valley Railway steam heritage line operates, starting at its northernmost point in Bridgnorth and running south for 16 miles to Ribbesford, a few miles south of Bewdley, Worcestershire in the Wyre Forest. The area is about 25 miles due west of Birmingham in the West Midlands region. There is use of this term to apply to areas around the River Severn as far south as Gloucester, as far north as Ironbridge. To the north of Bridgnorth, the area around the river becomes much steeper and is known as Ironbridge Gorge. From Stourport on Severn south to Gloucester, the riverside has a much larger flood plain and loses its distinctive "valley" hillsides found a few miles north in Bewdley. To the south of Gloucester, it becomes the Vale of Berkeley and the Severn Estuary; the Severn Valley was under the rule of Ceawlin of Wessex after the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD as part of The Kingdom of Hwicce.
In 628 AD, Penda of Mercia's victory in the Battle of Cirencester led to his rule over the Severn Valley. The area is typified by a substantial river bed with deep fast-flowing channels, surrounded by a small flood plain and rolling wooded hills. Due to the soft sandstone banks, it is difficult to build bridges; the only public road bridges are at Bridgnorth and Bewdley, meaning that there is no way for road traffic to cross the river for 16 miles. The two main roads along the valley are the A442 on the east side from Bridgnorth via Alveley to Kidderminster and the B4555 on the west from Bridgnorth via Highley to Bewdley. Both of these run north-south parallel with the river. Starting north at Bridgnorth and running south downstream, the area encompasses the following locations: Through Shropshire:Bridgnorth Quatford Chelmarsh Quatt Hampton and Hampton Loade Alveley Highley Through Worcestershire:Arley Trimpley Bewdley Some definitions continue through Worcestershire and into Gloucestershire as far south as Gloucester.
There are riverside footpaths throughout the entire length of the Severn Valley on both sides, including the Severn Way long distance footpath, making it a popular haunt for anglers and ramblers combining a leisurely walk with a return trip on the Severn Valley Railway. A number of traditional pubs cater for the tourist trade. At the centre of the area, between Highley and Alveley, is the Severn Valley Country Park, with level-access and wide flat footpaths for wheelchair users, plus conveniences and a small visitors' centre. During periods of low water, fording the river is possible at any point along the Severn Valley, notably near the old bridges at Bridgnorth and Bewdley, at the appropriately named Quatford. At mid and high water, fording is dangerous due to deep, fast-flowing and non-visible river channels. Forders are advised to test depth with a long stick; the term Severn Valley is used to refer to a fictional location in horror novels based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft. However, this fictional location is based on the Gloucestershire, Vale of Berkeley and Cotswolds regions, some 60 miles further south of the real-life Severn Valley.
Characters in the interwar novels of Francis Brett Young breathe "the Severnside air" and wander its pastoral byways. Parke Godwin's King Arthur series puts Camelot in the Severn Valley The Severn Valley Railway has featured in a number of films and television episodes. Severn Valley for other uses of Severn Valley Slideshow of footbridge construction 52°30′N 2°20′W
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
Astley Hall (Stourport-on-Severn)
Astley Hall is a country house in Astley near Stourport-on-Severn, England. The hall was the home of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin from 1902 to his death there in 1947, it is now a nursing home. Astley Hall is a small, three-storey country house set in 20 acres of parkland, two miles outside Stourport-on-Severn; the house consists of a main block, linked to an L-shaped stable wing. In addition, the estate features formal garden and kitchen garden; the present buildings date from mid-19th century with early 20th century additions. To the right of the main house is a stone Tudor arched garden entrance, to the left of the main house is a later cross-gabled extension with clock and brick stable range with stone dressings; the main house is an ashlar construction with slate roof. On the roof there are grouped chimneys with decorative shafting; the Jacobean façade features a 3-storey 3-bay centre block and 2-storey single bay wings with cornices and shaped gables. The outer bays of main block have 2-storey angled bay windows with open parapets.
Access to the main house is via a semi-circular headed doorway with rusticated arch and an Ionic motif above a keystone. Above the porch is inscribed "SLB 1912", which refers to the date of the final acquisition of the house and additions to it by Stanley and Lucy Baldwin; the porch is flanked by Ionic pilasters. On the interior, the entrance lobby has a Jacobean strapwork ceiling. On the garden front, the main house is plainer with a 2-storey pedimented porch containing a coat of arms; the extension to the right has on first floor Ionic 3-bay loggia with arched central bay, a further extension to right terminates in a rendered pavilion concealing water tower. The main house at Astley Hall was built between 1850 for the Lea family. Thomas Simcox Lea, of Astley Hall, was High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1845. At the beginning of the 20th century it was sold to Stanley Baldwin, who lived at Astley Hall from 1902 until his death in 1947. In 1912 he managed to buy the whole of its additions. Lucy Baldwin died of a heart attack at Astley Hall in June 1945.
Stanley Baldwin 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, continued to live at Astley Hall until his death there on 14 December 1947. After Lord Baldwin's death, Astley Hall was sold and became a school, a care home; the building was Grade II listed on 27 November 1984. Astley Hall was acquired by its current owners in May 2012, it is now in institutional use as a nursing home and not open to the public. In the Worcestershire area close to Stourport there are several large manor and country houses, among which Witley Court, Astley Hall, Pool House, Areley Hall and Abberley Hall are significant. There is a monument to Stanley Baldwin just below Astley Hall, directly on the Stourport to Worcester road. After his death, a national appeal failed to raise sufficient money for this memorial. Winston Churchill made up the shortfall and attended the dedication; the monument consisted of an inscribed base topped with a statue. Astley Hall on www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk Astley Hall on www.parksandgardens.org Astley and Astley Hall on www.british-history.ac.uk Description of Astley Hall on www.carehome.co.uk Gordon Lovett, A history of the people and places of Astley, 2000 Heritage Manor Ltd, current owners of Astley Hall
Bewdley Bridge is a three-span masonry arch bridge over the River Severn at Bewdley, designed by civil engineer Thomas Telford.. The two side spans are each 52 feet, with the central span 60 feet; the central arch rises 18 feet. Smaller flood arches on the bank bridge the towpath; the bridge is 27 feet wide. There has been a bridge at this location since 1447, each being replaced. Severe flooding in 1795 destroyed the previous bridge; that bridge comprised five pointed stone arches. A stone gatehouse on one pier had been replaced with a stone cottage by the time of a 1781 print. One of the arches had been damaged by the Royalists in 1644 and rebuilt in timber. Parts of a fifteenth-century bridge were rediscovered in 2004 during excavations for new flood defences. Thomas Telford was assisted by resident civil engineer, M Davidson, it was built in 1798 by Shrewsbury-based contractor John Simpson for £9,000. Its toll house was demolished in the 1960s. Crossings of the River Severn Cragg, R. Civil Engineering Heritage - Wales & West Central England, Thomas Telford Publishing, 2nd edn.
1997, ISBN 0-7277-2576-9 Witts, C. A Century of Bridges, River Severn Publications, 2nd edn. 1998, ISBN 0-9532711-0-2 1814 engraving of the bridge 1823 painting of the bridge